A computer virus is a type of malware that, when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself (possibly modified) into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive; when this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be “infected”. Viruses often perform some type of harmful activity on infected hosts, such as stealing hard disk space or CPU time, accessing private information, corrupting data, displaying political or humorous messages on the user’s screen, spamming their contacts, or logging their keystrokes. However, not all viruses carry a destructive payload or attempt to hide themselves—the defining characteristic of viruses is that they are self-replicating computer programs which install themselves without the user’s consent. Virus writers use social engineering and exploit detailed knowledge of security vulnerabilities to gain access to their hosts’ computing resources. The vast majority of viruses (over 99%) target systems running Microsoft Windows, employing a variety of mechanisms to infect new hosts, and often using complex anti-detection/stealth strategies to evade antivirus software.
But enough about what a virus is. You care about how to get it off your computer. The answer is not simple, but the solution is, call us. You see, often times, virus software does not do the job. Which is why you find yourself in an endless cycle of quarantining files, then having additional issues, so you run the virus software again, which quarantines more files, and you’re good for a bit, but then you start to have issues again. It’s endless. Why? Because virus software, in our experience, seldomly remove a virus completely. This is because viruses often corrupt necessary system files that cannot be quarantined or bury themselves deep in files that the particular virus software you’re running overlooks.
The tried and true method we’ve used to successfully rid most of our clients from viruses is to 1) backup the clients hard drive completely, 2) take the backup, mount it on another machine, and then run several different virus softwares to clean up the drive, 3) reinstall a clean copy of Windows on their computer, then 4) migrate their data back to the clean version of Windows we just installed on their machine. It may seem like a bit overkill, but it’s usually the end game anyway, which is why it’s just simpler to give us a call to begin with.